Lambeth commits to deliver more affordable homes to tackle borough’s deepening housing crisis.

5 March 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

A plan to tackle the housing crisis by delivering more affordable housing in the borough will be reviewed at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on 13 March.

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Lambeth commits to deliver more affordable homes to tackle borough’s deepening housing crisis.

Delivering Affordable Homes – Lambeth Council’s New Homes Programme sets out the council’s ambitions to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in the borough.  It includes details of how Lambeth will accelerate delivery of affordable housing in the borough, especially homes at council rent, to help more families to make the transition from the housing waiting list and into the homes they so desperately need. The NHP aims to deliver a minimum of 500 new affordable homes by 2030 on land owned by the council.

This initiative comes in response to the severe national housing crisis, highlighted by over 43,000 households on the council’s waiting list and more than 4,000 households living in temporary accommodation.

The New Homes Programme addresses the first priority of the council’s new housing strategy –delivering more affordable homes. Lambeth’s new housing strategy as a whole, and the public’s responses to the council’s accompanying consultation on this are also on the agenda for the Cabinet meeting.

Lambeth Council’s new approach to housing delivery will be delivered in genuine partnership with local residents over the next six years, with a mixed approach to delivery that includes seeking to deliver homes directly in the council where that is possible and working in partnership with development partners.

Since 2017, the council and Homes for Lambeth (its wholly owned housing company), have delivered 392 homes on council owned land, of which 236 are for council rent, 32 are other affordable rent, and 124 for open market sale.  There are currently 135 homes under construction on council land, including 109 at council rent.

Cllr Danny Adilypour, Deputy Leader of the Council and Member for Sustainable Growth and New Homes said:

“The New Homes Programme comes in response to a severe housing crisis that means over 4,000 families are living in temporary accommodation in the borough.

“Our efforts to tackle this issue have been significantly challenged by financial strains including, most significantly, 14 years of government underfunding. The economic downturn at present means building new homes is more expensive than ever, at a time when the pressure on the council’s finances has never been greater.

“While many housing providers are scaling back their development programmes, we in Lambeth will continue to lobby government for support to help councils to keep building the homes our residents need and deserve.

“Despite the many challenges, we aim to enable the delivery of a minimum of 500 new affordable homes by 2030, bringing in partners when appropriate, as well as seeking to maximise the numbers of additional homes at council rent when grant funding and economic conditions allow.”


Working with residents

Communication and engagement with residents, especially concerning estate renewal and overall housing delivery, were areas which received a high level of response during Lambeth’s consultation on the draft housing strategy.  Resident engagement forms a cornerstone of the New Homes Programme and the council has emphasised its commitment to evaluating all options for estate renewal, including refurbishment in line with best practices. Lambeth will prioritise resident engagement, promising to value community feedback and maintain clear, timely communication about future developments.

Lambeth’s new housing strategy

Central to the council’s new direction, outlined in the housing strategy, is the promise to deliver an empathetic, resident-centred approach to repairs, with a focus on increasing resident satisfaction year by year.

Improving the management of contractors carrying out repairs is another core aim of the new housing strategy, ensuring that residents receive the highest quality service.

Lambeth’s new housing strategy also addresses homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough through many initiatives including the council’s involvement in the Homewards Project in partnership with the Royal Foundation.


Responding to the hundreds of submissions to the draft Housing Strategy consultation, Councillor Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Homelessness said:

“Thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation on our new housing strategy which set out our commitments to make Lambeth a place we can all call home. We’re glad that you have been so supportive of all our priorities for the Housing and Repair services, particularly issues such as damp, which you told us was your top priority.

“We will deliver on the commitments of our Damp Charter. And we will review the delivery and effectiveness of our response every year, to ensure residents have healthy home environments.

“We will deliver a more empathetic and resident centred approach to repairs and strive towards achieving increasing levels of resident satisfaction year on year.

“We recognise that in a minority of cases the repairs service hasn’t been meeting expectations. We have a large number of legal disrepair claims that we are determined to reduce and we know this will not be a quick process.

“We have taken accountability and recognise the need to improve the quality of repairs, making it easy to raise repair requests and improve the overall customer experience – getting the job done right the first time as often as possible.

“The scale of the housing challenge in Lambeth is clear. We have already committed to working in partnership with the relevant agencies, organisations, groups and institutions to deliver our housing strategy, but our most important commitment is to our residents.

“This requires a cultural change that puts residents at the heart of what we do. We must be transparent and have a focus on delivering equity for our diverse communities.”

The council’s Cabinet will also consider changes to the housing allocations policy, which was also subject to a public consultation. The new proposals are in line with Lambeth’s ambitions around equity and will make allocations fairer to those in temporary accommodation and ensure those in greatest need are prioritised.

Lambeth has more applicants on its waiting list than any other council. This is because of high demand, but also because the council doesn’t limit access to the list.

The proposed amendments will see the removal of Band D and the transfer of all applicants living in temporary accommodation from Band C to Band B. All applicants currently on the housing register were invited to take part in the Allocations Policy consultation along with all Lambeth residents and stakeholders.